Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots Tour Hits Nashville

2016 CMT Artists of the Year Sell Out Bridgestone Arena

Florida Georgia Line lit up the night and let it burn Thursday (Oct. 13) when they brought the Dig Your Roots Tour to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The sold-out show was their headlining debut at the venue.

At one point in the middle of “Hot in Herre” with their 2014 summer tourmate Nelly, a slightly sweaty Tyler Hubbard completely lost his Old Camp Whiskey shirt. But who could blame him?

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The 90-minute hit-filled set was coming to an end and it was full of non-stop fun with friends, family and — goodness, gracious — great flames of pyro. Throughout the concert, the music blasting onstage had fans getting wild in the aisles and singing along to every song.

And at times the music was so loud, throughout the arena eyeballs rattled in their sockets. Onstage, Hubbard and Brian Kelley pretty much grinned from ear-to-ear the whole time.

Nelly was one of Florida Georgia Line’s three surprise guests at the Music City stop.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Kicking off with “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line made their grand entrance standing on suspended lighting rigs that lowered them to the stage while the first shots of pyro warmed the faces of everyone rocking out in the sections closest to the duo. The special effects continued as they went into “It’z Just What We Do.”

Then they laid on the country boy charm thick as they performed their third No. 1 “Round Here” and “Anything Goes.”

Next, 13 inflatable trees emerged onstage as Kelley took the lead on the title track of their current album Dig Your Roots. “Confession,” “Stay” and “May We All,” their current single with Tim McGraw, followed.

After singing the Dig Your Roots song “Smooth,” they made their way to a satellite stage toward the back of the arena where another small bonfire lit up behind Hubbard’s grand piano for “Dirt” and “H.O.L.Y.,” the latter of which they dedicated to their wives.

Next the whole room lost it when they brought out Backstreet Boys to sing and dance their famous moves from the monster-themed music video “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” They stayed onstage for the Dig Your Roots Tour premiere of “God, Your Mama, and Me.”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Then Jake Owen joined the duo for “Sun Dazed,” which was followed by a live “mixtape” medley of Chamillionaire, Toby Keith, Montell Jordan and House of Pain. “Ride Wit Me,” “Hot in Herre” and “Cruise” with Nelly closed the show.

Sets by Cole Swindell, Kane Brown and Nashville natives the Cadillac Three kicked off the night.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Before singing “White Lightning,” the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston revealed he and his wife of three years Evyn are expecting their first child.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Backstage in an area that’s usually reserved for national tour rehearsals and award show pressrooms, their home record label Big Machine hosted Studio FGL for invited media guests and Music Row VIPs.

For this particular occasion, the place was lit up in red with a massive bar stationed in the middle with five disco balls spinning overhead. Two go-go dancers dressed in psychedelic jumpsuits and bell bottoms got down to a live DJ that mixed country with pop hits as folks mingled around Old Camp Whiskey stations serving at least four different signature cocktails.

While the Cadillac Three tore into 35 minutes of southern rock, Hubbard and Kelley were backstage at Studio FGL being presented with double platinum plaques honoring “H.O.L.Y.” from the Recording Industry Association of America.

Florida Georgia Line are honorees for the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special, airing Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET. The Dig Your Roots Tour continues Friday (Oct. 14) in Evansville, Indiana.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.